title: SPEC 2017 tags: - x86 - fullsystem layout: default permalink: resources/spec-2017 shortdoc: > Resources to build a disk image with the SPEC 2017 workloads. license: Proprietary SPEC License

This document aims to provide instructions to create a gem5-compatible disk image containing the SPEC 2017 benchmark suite. It also demonstrates how to simulate the SPEC CPU2017 benchmarks using an example configuration script.

Building the Disk Image

Creating a disk-image for SPEC 2017 requires the benchmark suite ISO file. More info about SPEC 2017 can be found at https://www.spec.org/cpu2017/.

In this tutorial, we assume that the file cpu2017-1.1.0.iso contains the SPEC benchmark suite, and we provide the scripts that are made specifically for SPEC 2017 version 1.1.0. Throughout the this document, the root folder is src/spec-2017/. All commands should be run from the assumed root folder.

The layout of the folder after the scripts are run is as follows,

  |___ gem5/                                   # gem5 folder
  |___ disk-image/
  |      |___ build.sh                         # the script downloading packer binary and building the disk image
  |      |___ shared/
  |      |___ spec-2017/
  |             |___ spec-2017-image/
  |             |      |___ spec-2017          # the disk image will be generated here
  |             |___ spec-2017.json            # the Packer script
  |             |___ cpu2017-1.1.0.iso         # SPEC 2017 ISO (add here)
  |___ vmlinux-4.19.83                         # Linux kernel, link to download provided below
  |___ README.md

First, to build m5 (required for interactions between gem5 and the system under simuations):

git clone https://gem5.googlesource.com/public/gem5
cd gem5
cd util/m5
scons build/x86/out/m5

We use Packer, an open-source automated disk image creation tool, to build the disk image. In the root folder,

cd disk-image
./build.sh          # the script downloading packer binary and building the disk image

Simulating SPEC CPU2017 using an example script

An example script with a pre-configured system is available in the following directory within the gem5 repository:


The example script specifies a system with the following parameters:

  • A SimpleSwitchableProcessor (KVM for startup and TIMING for ROI execution). There are 2 CPU cores, each clocked at 3 GHz.
  • 2 Level MESI_Two_Level cache with 32 kB L1I and L1D size, and, 256 kB L2 size. The L1 cache(s) has associativity of 8, and, the L2 cache has associativity 16. There are 2 L2 cache banks.
  • The system has 3 GB SingleChannelDDR4_2400 memory.
  • The script uses x86-linux-kernel-4.19.83 and the disk image created from following the instructions in this README.md.
  • The user inputs the path to the built disk image, along with the root partition.
  • The script then uses CustomResource class to use the spec-2017 disk-image.

The example script must be run with the X86_MESI_Two_Level binary. To build:

git clone https://gem5.googlesource.com/public/gem5
cd gem5
scons build/X86/gem5.opt -j<proc>

Once compiled, you may use the example configuration file to run the SPEC CPU2017 benchmark programs using the following command:

# In the gem5 directory
build/X86/gem5.opt \
configs/example/gem5_library/x86-spec-cpu2017-benchmarks.py \
--image <path_to_built_spec-2017_disk_image> \
--partition <root_partition_to_mount> \
--benchmark <benchmark_program> \
--size <workload_size>

Description of the four arguments, provided in the above command are:

  • --image refers to the full path of the the SPEC CPU2017 disk-image, built using the instructions specified above.
  • --partition refers to the root partition of the disk-image to mount. If the disk has no partitions, then pass --partition "". Otherwise, pass an integer specifying the partition number. Set --partition 1 if the above instructions to build the disk-image are followed.
  • --benchmark, which refers to one of 47 benchmark programs, provided in the SPEC CPU2017 Benchmark Suite. For more information on the workloads can be found at https://www.spec.org/cpu2017/. The list of benchmark programs include:
    • 500.perlbench_r
    • 502.gcc_r
    • 503.bwaves_r
    • 505.mcf_r
    • 507.cactuBSSN_r
    • 508.namd_r
    • 510.parest_r
    • 511.povray_r
    • 519.lbm_r
    • 520.omnetpp_r
    • 521.wrf_r
    • 523.xalancbmk_r
    • 525.x264_r
    • 526.blender_r
    • 527.cam4_r
    • 531.deepsjeng_r
    • 538.imagick_r
    • 541.leela_r
    • 544.nab_r
    • 548.exchange2_r
    • 549.fotonik3d_r
    • 554.roms_r
    • 557.xz_r
    • 600.perlbench_s
    • 602.gcc_s
    • 603.bwaves_s
    • 605.mcf_s
    • 607.cactuBSSN_s
    • 619.lbm_s
    • 620.omnetpp_s
    • 621.wrf_s
    • 623.xalancbmk_s
    • 625.x264_s
    • 627.cam4_s
    • 628.pop2_s
    • 631.deepsjeng_s
    • 638.imagick_s
    • 641.leela_s
    • 644.nab_s
    • 648.exchange2_s
    • 649.fotonik3d_s
    • 654.roms_s
    • 657.xz_s
    • 996.specrand_fs
    • 997.specrand_fr
    • 998.specrand_is
    • 999.specrand_ir
  • --size, which refers to the workload size to simulate. Valid choices for --size are test, train and ref.

The output directory, where the simulation statistics will be redirected to, will have a new folder named speclogs_<Day><Month><Date><Hour><Minute><Second>. The time is of execution is appended to avoid conflicts while coping the files. The output files, generated on the disk-image in the folder speclogs will be copied to this aforementioned directory.